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JOSH WILLIAMS 2024 PROFILE

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There's a litany of reasons why Head Coach Brian Kelly and Assistant Head Coach / Running Backs Coach Frank Wilson felt retaining Josh Williams was a priority....
More than stats accomplished between the lines, the main motivation for Kelly wanting to keep Williams for one "last dance" lies in what the longtime Tiger embodies every moment of every day, alongside the example he sets for Tigers of the present & future.

Perseverance.

Dedication.

Athletic Excellence.

Selflessness.

Education.

Community.

The emotional heartbeat of Brian Kelly's 2024 LSU Tigers is without a doubt the 6th year senior running back, captain & starter for the last 2 seasons, the final remaining 2019 Tiger on roster.....a meat and potatoes rusher who steadfastly climbed from a walk-on to a starting scholarship Tiger.....often trusted with earning the toughest, most critical yards of the game....and he almost always makes it happen.

Williams is hoping to cap his career with a second National Championship ring, as he's already played alongside a pair of two Heisman winning quarterbacks, first round picks galore up and down purple & gold rosters throughout his 6 seasons: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Now, the recent LSU graduate has sights set on his biggest season yet;

Despite four talented backs behind him, Kaleb Jackson, Trey Holly, Malachi Lane, including incoming freshman Caden Durham, it was no surprise when Williams was given LSU's starting spot by Assistant Head Coach / RBs Coach Frank Wilson.

Josh isn't just a well-heeled disciple of the "Low Man Wins Doctrine", he's evolved athletically into a far more versatile weapon out of the backfield, making tacklers miss with more frequency each season, and adding a pivotal outlet via his receiving expertise.

Although his production was cut in half last season (284 yards, 55 attempts, 5.2 per carry, 5 rushing scores in comparison to 532 yards, 97 carries, 5.5 per rush average with 6 TDs in 2022) alongside stretches of inavailability through injury, Josh simply wasn't utilized as much in 2023 due to the effectiveness of QB Jayden Daniels' own rushing prowess, eclipsing 1,000 yards over consecutive seasons (2022 & 2023).

Still, Williams' role remained key as ever, becoming LSU's goal line / red zone finisher.

He punched in 5 TDs against the best opponents on the schedule, scoring in wins over A&M, Florida, Auburn, Mississippi State, also reaching the end zone during LSU's narrow defeat to Alabama.

While his season high rushing total never hit more than 51 yards throughout 2023, Josh was effective whenever he touched the ball, hitting 7 well-timed runs over 10 yards, including 35 yard & 41 yard scampers vs Florida State and Grambling, before earning 18 total first downs with his legs.

What he achieved in the receiving game is especially tantalizing for the season ahead: catching 14 of his 15 targets for 194 yards and 0 drops.

In the campaign ahead, with first year starting QB Garrett Nussmeier now settling into his 4th season alongside Williams as a teammate, just as we believe Mason Taylor will receive plenty of targets as an outlet for Nuss, we think Williams will see more of the ball as a pass catcher, as well.

Of course, his main job will be running the football and I expect to see more of a healthy dose of J-Dub's violent, attacking rushing style this fall.

Because LSU's offense is headed in a more traditional set up in 2024, taking advantage of their All-American-littered offensive line, as well as abundant talent at tight end (with question marks, yet plenty at receiver still to be answered), Williams could see the ball more than ever before in his 6 year LSU Odyssey.

The elder statesman....

The wise #27, rocking our own eternal lucky number, wearing it well for 6 seasons as a Tiger.....
Now as a graduate, fully focused on football and the opportunity he's always worked for within range, with the stars aligning as far as LSU's upcoming run heavier offense, without Jayden Daniels' dual threat speed demon acrobatics, Josh Williams will be the main man.

For me, he may not be LSU's 1,000 yard rusher, he may not be LSU's weekly headline grabber, however, there's a feeling in the air of good karma paying Josh back after years of unbelievable patience, waiting, waiting, and even more waiting....right now though, there's a palpable sense that 2024 will be his time.


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

©️ 2024 Uninterrupted Writings Inc

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Guys like Josh transcend the normal measurable. Knowledge, dedication, smarts, and perseverance play a key role in playing beyond one’s physical gifts, even though Josh is a solid talent too.

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